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Off the road again
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Article On SiouxLand.Net
GhostShip voted Siouxlands favorite band and favorite website in the Weekender's 2004 Siouxland's Choice Poll.
Interview in Weekender Magazine
GhostShip: local radio, clubs need to support bands
Published: May 22, 2003
The Sioux City band GhostShip recently finished its CD "The Debauchery" and will celebrate with a CD release party on May 29 at Tailgators on Historic Fourth Street. We talked with lead singer Dan Loofe and the rest of the band - Rick Moore, lead guitar, Jarrod Paulsen, drummer, Ahron Jurney, bass guitar - about the new CD, their music and the Sioux City scene.
What's the story behind this CD - how long did it take to write, fine tune and finish?
We've been writing the CD for over two years. We're always trying to write new music to expand our selection of original songs. This CD contains eight of our original songs, and we are already starting to come up with song ideas for our next album. The actual recording of the album got under way back in November of 2002. We spent the first few months looking for the right atmosphere and producer, and actually recorded one song at a different studio to test the waters (we weren't happy with the results or the vibe). In the end, we went with SuperFuzz productions and Rick Brienzo. Rick has a great ear, and knew what we were going for. Once we settled in at SuperFuzz, we spent the next three months recording, mixing. All told, approximately 130 hours went into recording and mixing. Once we had the final mix, we had the CD mastered by Bob Birch at his sound studio. Next came the artwork and printing. That was handled by Artisan Press in Sioux City. We looked at companies all over the country, but after seeing the work Artisan has done for several national recording artists, coupled with the fact that they were willing to bend over backwards to make our short deadline, we went with them, and we are very pleased with the results.
What 3 words describe this CD, and why?
Very Diverse Rock.
What did you learn most about your music in the process of creating this CD?
We all have differing musical tastes, but we also have commonalities. So you see different influences in every song, no two sound alike. What's next for the band?
We have a busy summer lined up. We released our album in Sioux Falls last weekend with a great response. KRRO "the Crow" picked up one of our songs and is giving it some radio play. Our Sioux City release party is on the 29th of this month at Tailgators. We will be the first band to play that club, so we are looking forward to it. We will be headlining the Fourth Street Tailgators stage at the June Jam this year on June 7th. On June 20th we will be playing at the Ickey Nickel Bad A** Band weekend with our good friends Neer Miss. The following night we will be the opening act for Head East at Awesome Harley nights. We have several other shows lined up for the rest of the summer, so it will be a busy time for us.
As to our future goals, we are just taking it one day at a time. Playing as many shows as we can, and getting our music out to the masses. We intend to send our CD out to radio stations across the nation. We feel that if we keep our feet on the ground, play hard and put on a great show, eventually we will be in the right place at the right time. You make your own luck by being prepared for opportunities when they arrive. We always count on the worst, and hope for the best.
Does original local music have a chance in Sioux City?
In my own opinion, I believe it does. But a few things need to change.
No. 1, the local radio stations need to get involved and actively promote local music. The only time they seem to be willing to help out local bands is if there is something in it for them. I understand it's a business just like any other. But you can't try and jump onto the band wagon (literally) after a band has taken off, you need to give them help to get to the level where they can take off. I've had conversations with some DJs at local stations, and they feel the same way. So I'm not sure where the disconnection is. But you can travel 90 miles north or south and find radio stations that get behind local music, and actually actively pursue it, like KRRO FM, they picked up our CD without us even asking. People in Sioux City can help by calling their DJs and making requests, maybe that's what they're waiting for.
No. 2, local venues need to invest in music. For some local venues, the band is the only thing that draws a crowd for them on the weekends. They need to treat the entertainment as an investment and put some money into their stages, sound, lighting and promotion. Again, drive 90 miles north or south and you will see complete sound and lighting set ups that are owned by the clubs, with professional sound technicians running the equipment.
For us, its not a big deal because we own all our own equipment now and have a talented and dedicated crew. But for smaller bands or ones just starting out, a house PA and light set up would be paradise. Many bands can't even play live because they don't have the equipment needed. We put almost every dollar we made back into the band for almost two years to buy all of our gear; a full sound and light set up can cost thousands of dollars. Not many garage bands can afford that. So that's where they stay, in the garage.
It's understandable that venues are leary about spending that kind of money, but I think it would really benefit the local music scene. By investing in the equipment/stage you not only open the door for burgeoning acts, but also improve all the shows. Improve the shows, and you improve your crowd. Bigger crowds equals more money for the club.
One huge factor for local music that keeps it alive is the support from local music lovers. Every show we play, more and more great people come out to see us. They are so dedicated and willing to help out in any way they can. Sioux Citians love live music. They are the ones that are keeping it going. They are the reason we put on the best show we can every time we play. We feel if they took the time to go out, spend their hard-earned money at a club, or buy a CD or T-shirt, or even just take the time to come see us or visit our web site, that we owe them our best efforts. Creating this CD has really shown us that people in Sioux City want to get behind a local band and help them to the next level. If you have that going for you, you will always have a local scene.
Interview in Argus Leader
GhostShip throws melody into heavy metal mix
By: ROBERT MORAST
Published: May 15, 2003
Sioux City band to play originals, covers this weekend
'The Debauchery' isn’t just the name of GhostShip’s new album. It’s also a term the band uses to label its live performance. 'Drunken debauchery, it kind of describes our show,' says Rick Moore, guitarist for the Sioux City, Iowa, hard rock/metal band. 'It’s pretty hard and fast.” But not too hard or too fast.
Far from the dark side of metal, which tends to growl out indecipherable lyrics and pads every measure with as much double bass pedal drumming as possible, GhostShip is a more palatable act that mixes hard-charging originals with a dose of covers ranging from Metallica to Iron Maiden to nonmetal tunes by the likes of Radiohead and Rush. 'It’s a very diverse evening of rock ’n’ roll,' Moore says from his Sioux City home. 'I hate rap metal. You won’t hear any of that.” GhostShip’s stand at Sidewinder Bar at 9:30 tonight and Saturday also will feature the Sioux Falls release of the group’s album 'The Debauchery.” Featuring eight original tunes, the album will be available at the show for $12. The fact that GhostShip has stayed together long enough to make an album is a bit astonishing, considering the tragedy Moore and his bandmates suffered. Shortly after the original GhostShip lineup formed, bassist Eric Wyant died by suicide in November 2000.
'He was in the Gulf War. I don’t know if he had something that carried over. He wasn’t a drug addict,' Moore says. 'He just disappeared for a couple of weeks and ended up shooting himself in the shower.” The band, understandably, took six months off and then decided to give music another try. 'At first, it was strange,' Moore says.
But after adding new bassist Ahron Gurney on board with Moore, vocalist Dan Loofe and drummer Jarred Paulsen, a new chemistry was formed. Since, GhostShip has played the region and recently was voted best cover and original band in Sioux City by an area publication. Not bad for a second chance.
Battling for Brett
This weekend will be busy for Sidewinder Bar. Aside from hosting GhostShip, the biker bar will feature a battle of the bands all day Saturday. A benefit for Brett Bolte, who was paralyzed from the chest down after being hit by a car while riding his motorcycle, all proceeds from the battle will go toward his various expenses. Recruited to help Bolte’s cause are area bands Green House, performing at 2 p.m.; Spankwich, 4 p.m.; 13 Noon, 6 p.m.; and Q at 8 p.m. GhostShip will play at 9:30 p.m. Saturday but is not part of the battle. Between sets, Sidewinder will host various games, raffles and ride-throughs. And, as added enticement, those who vote for their favorite bands will be rewarded with a free beer.
Interview On siouxland.net
GhostShip voted the best cover band and best original band in the Weekender's Siouxland's Choice poll.
Ghostship's Goal: Rock 'n' Roll, Have Fun By Stacey Manzer-Macfarlane 10/25/01
Interview in Weekender Magazine
Ghostship's Goal: Rock 'n' Roll, Have Fun By Stacey Manzer-Macfarlane 10/25/01
A few questions for the members of Ghost Ship, who will perform at the Cancer "Sucks" benefit. The band formed in 2000 and is made up of Dan Loofe, Ahron Journey, Rick Moore and Jarrod Paulsen.
Are all the members original?
No, Rick Moore, our guitar player, and Jarrod Paulsen are the only original members. Dan Loofe, our singer, joined in February 2001, and Ahron Journey, bass guitar, came on board in July 2001.
How did the band get together?
It started as a mutual connection between Jarrod and people he had jammed with, DJ Trout, Eric Wyant and Rick Moore. In early 2000, they all ended up in the same room at the same time and Ghost Ship was formed.
They originally called the band Shift, but quickly changed that after finding out another band was using it. This incarnation of the band played around the city in 2000 at such events as June Jam, Tommy Bolin Fest and at Steve's Place a few times.
They then headed into the studio to record a demo CD. Nearing the completion of the CD, our bassist and friend Eric took his own life. After that, DJ decided to leave the band to spend more time with his family and work on other musical interests.
After a few months passed, Rick and Jarrod started jamming again. They enlisted Jeff "Shark" Williams, formally of Blue Moon, to play bass and sing. In February of 2001, Rick's friend and vocalist Dan Loofe came down to the studio to jam with the band for fun. Rick and Dan played together in Mental Lapse about 7 years earlier and always had a great chemistry on and off stage.
Things clicked and Dan was asked to join full time. After a few months of working on originals and some covers, Jeff decided to give up the whole band scene to focus on his hobby of fishing. The search was on for a new bass player. Ahron Journey showed up, looking like Sammy Hager and we were impressed by his skills on bass. He fit the mold and we asked him to join the band. The rest, as they say, is history.
Any other upcoming dates?
Yes, we are taking it slowly, so we are not booking a lot of shows until after the first of the year. But we are teaming up with Entrapment to do a weekend at the Crosstown on Nov. 16-17. We are also doing New Year's Eve at Steve's Place. Look for one more upcoming show in the middle of December.
Do you perform covers or your own music?
We do a combination of both. Right now we are 50-50. We want to do our own music as much as possible, but also realize you need to put the "butts in the seats" with some covers, our main focus is the originals.
What are your goals as musicians?
To rock and roll, have some fun and put on the best show we can. Anything else that happens is a bonus. We focus on the music. If the music is there, the fans will be there too.
How did you come up with the name?
Jarrod thought of it and brought it to the band. It seemed mysterious yet interesting, so we voted and it was the selection.
What motivates you to create music?
It's just something we love to do. When you write a song that people get in to, there's no better feeling. We all take our music very seriously, so we like all aspects of it, whether it be writing, recording, performing or practicing.
Musicians Rock to Fight Cancer on siouxland.net
Interview in Weekender Magazine
Musicians Rock to Fight Cancer Benefit to Help Patients Pay for Treatment By Stacey Manzer-Macfarlane 10/25/01
Sioux City rockers Ghost Ship put the finishing touches on their current lineup this past July when lead singer Dan Loofe joined the four-man outfit.
After the death of my grandmother, and with a recent bout with cancer myself, I faced a compelling desire to raise awareness about this common, yet unexplainable, affliction.
My grandma taught me how to cook, plant roses, make crafts, and she always took me shopping and to the beauty shop every Saturday. I was the little girl she never had. Grandma and I are both religious women, and we used to exchange prayers and inspirational messages even though she was a Mormon and I am Catholic.
Even after moving here from California, I would fly out to see her almost every summer. Eventually, the increased cost of airfare and our busy lives made it more difficult to get together.
Grandma died six years ago, just 10 days after doctors found a brain tumor. Because it happened so fast, I missed it all. What hurt the most was that I wasn't able to be by her side during the tests, the surgery, or at her funeral. I've carried that pain for years.
Winnifered "Winny" Barton would have been 71 this past July.
That experience left me wanting to help, so I am organizing a benefit to raise money and awareness for the Siouxland Regional Cancer Center. On Nov. 3, four Siouxland area rock bands will join forces at Club Riviera to raise money for local cancer-fighting efforts.
Ghost Ship, Entrapment, Str8Jackit and Blue Collar Bravado have volunteered to perform for the benefit.
With more than 38,000 patient visits in 2000 to the Cancer Center, the importance of raising funds locally to help patients buy time to get treatments they can't afford or that insurance doesn't cover can't be overstressed.
"Funds will go locally to our patient assistance fund, which ensures all patients can receive care regardless of their ability to pay," said Karen Forneris, executive director for the Siouxland Regional Cancer Center. Money helps cancer patients pay for biopsies and other treatments that are not covered by insurance.
Of the more than 100 types of cancer, the four most common forms of cancer that are treated in Siouxland are: prostate, breast, colon and lung, in that order.
Survival rates vary depending on the type of cancer, but 54 percent of those diagnosed will survive more than five years, according to Forneris.
And gathering to share experiences and raise awareness of this life-threatening disease is key to stopping it. In addition, getting yearly check-ups and supporting families in need also helps reduce the burden.
For some of the musicians, Saturday night will be a way to help fight a disease that is close to them. Ron Thacker, bass player for Str8Jackit, lost his wife to the disease in 1999.
"This [benefit] will not bring back a mother to her children, a daughter to her parents or the friend to her friends, but it will help all the families and their children that experience this terrible disease that cannot afford to pay to keep on living," Thacker said.
"Cancer has touched my friends and family - in one way or another. So this is a way for us to help," said musician Dan Loofe, of Ghost Ship. With this benefit, everyone can help.
The Details What: Cancer "Sucks" Benefit for the Siouxland Regional Cancer Center When: Nov. 3, 7 p.m.; doors open at 6 p.m. Where: Club Riviera Cost: $5 donation at the door goes to the Cancer Center Schedule: 7 p.m. Blue Collar Bravado 8:30 p.m. Str8Jackit 10 p.m. Ghost Ship 11:45 p.m. Entrapment
Dreams carry Ghostship
Interview on SiouxlandXL Magazine
Dreams carry Ghostship
By Bob Bosse
Wanna race to the top of the hill
I'm gonna live my life for every thrill, yeah
The biggest house and the fastest car, I wanna be the hero, wanna be the star
I'll have the most beautiful girl, I'm gonna take her and travel the world
I'm gonna live my life fast and free, Just let my dreams carry me...
Ghostship includes, clockwise from top left: Dan Loofe, Ahron Jurney, Jarrod Paulsen and Rick Moore.
The opening lyrics of "Dreams" by Sioux City band Ghostship reflect a philosophy shared by the band's members. For the past two years, members of the hard-rock band have followed their own dreams, steadily building a following by showcasing their talent at such Siouxland events as June Jam, the Cancer Sucks benefit, the Tommy Bolin Festival, and appearances at clubs across the region.
The band's repertoire includes a mix of hard rock combined with sometimes-unpredictable showmanship, a combination that, they say, keeps audience members guessing what will happen next.
"When you come to a Ghostship show, you never know what you might get," says bass guitarist Ahron Jurney.
The band has been known to invite audience members onto the stage to take part in the experience, and the set lists are often improvised depending on the makeup of the crowd. It's that kind of unpredictability that lead guitarist Rick Moore, a founding member of the band, says is a key element to Ghostship's growing popularity.
"We thrive on out-of-the-ordinary stuff," he says, "and we take pride in our musicianship."
That pride results in a demanding mix of music. "We perform music that's more technically challenging," says lead singer Dan Loofe, "things a lot of bands wouldn't even attempt, like Rush."
Besides Rush, Ghostship's set lists include music by such artists as Metallica, Fu-Manchu, Steve Vai, Beautiful Creatures and Megadeth. The band also features an ever-growing list of original music. Band members are quick to point out that although some people may classify their music as "heavy metal," that label is incorrect, particularly in the music they write themselves.
"We're trying very hard not to have our originals classified," says drummer Jarrod Paulsen. "We take pride in our diversity, and I think there's a little intended effort to sound different," he says.
The band came together in early 2000 when Moore answered an ad in a local newspaper. Paulsen and some of the people he jammed with, DJ Trout and Eric Wyant, were seeking to form a band and were looking for a guitar player. They formed a band called Shift, and played a few gigs around Sioux City. They soon changed their name to Ghostship and headed into the studio to record a demo CD. While still recording, the band suffered a major loss with the death of Wyant. The loss took its toll on the remaining members and soon Trout left to spend more time with his family and pursue other interests.
A few months later, the desire to perform was back. Moore and Paulsen started jamming together again, along with former Blue Moon bassist and singer Jeff "Shark" Williams. In February 2001, Moore's friend and vocalist Loofe came down to the studio to jam with the band just for fun. Moore and Loofe had played together in Mental Lapse about seven years before.
Things clicked and Loofe was asked to join the band. After a few months of working on originals and some covers, Williams decided to leave. The search was on for a new bass player. Jurney, a San Francisco native, soon showed up and impressed the band with his skills, and Ghostship finally took its current form in July 2001. The band then began trying to line up gigs.
"The owner of Steve's Place helped us out with our first gig," says Moore. "At the time, we were a little short on material and actually ended up playing the same set twice."
With more practice and more material, the band went on to perform at Cancer Sucks, a benefit concert last November, held to raise money for local cancer-fighting efforts. Along with awareness for the cause, the band built awareness for itself and, soon, Ghostship was in demand across Siouxland. The band's website, www.ghostshipband.com, now gets around 500 hits per month, giving samples of their work, information about the band and upcoming concert dates. All things considered, members say they average about 20 hours per week of work behind the scenes.
All the songwriting, rehearsal and promotion in the world would be useless without local venues in which to perform. All the band members agree that over the past few years, Siouxland has seen a resurgence of live music.
Another thing all the band members seem to agree on is that it's worth the effort, whether or not they make a profit. "We're realistic with it" says Moore. "We know that it's extremely rare to make it big. Mostly our money gets invested in more and better equipment, also merchandise like T-shirts, decals, things like that."
"We have no illusions," says Jurney. "If something big happened, that would just be a bonus."
For now, like their song says, the band is content to live fast and free, and let their dreams carry them into the future. As for upcoming plans, stay tuned for a CD of all original music, and look for Ghostship at venues across Siouxland. The group's next appearance is slated for June 14 and 15 at Steve's Place. The band is booked through September.